I started this article a couple of times and realized that even I was getting sick of my need for deep and esoteric thoughts this week. Ideas were bouncing around in the “I am grateful for the shadow stuff and you can be too” realm. It is true. That was what I was going to write about. Ugh. No. Not right now. Not this year. So, I let my writing lay for a few days, knowing that it would come when the time was right.
I was not wrong. This morning, I realized that I am grateful for humiliation, grace, hysterical laughter, safety and honey buns, and here is why.
Not even 24 hours from the time that I am writing this, I was in class. As I have mentioned in other articles, I am a minister-in-training. Some of my courses are taught on Zoom and in last night’s class, there were 14 of us, plus a teacher, who is a minister. Everyone in class is on the ministerial or spiritual educator path or are leaders within their respective churches.
We were talking about how our assignment is to utilize the laws that we are learning about to manifest something by mid-December and my phone rings. It is the man that I am dating. I go to switch my camera off, so my classmates and instructor cannot see my mouth moving, thinking that I am speaking but not realizing that I am muted. He greeted me in one of his flirty ways, “Hey Honey Buns!” and I responded with my usual response to this greeting, “I can’t wait to bite your honey buns!” Suddenly, I heard my instructor say, “Who said that?” and I saw her face move closer to the screen, squinting. My heart was pounding as she exclaims, “Indira!” I scrambled to click the mute button as I watched my classmates and my teacher falling over themselves, laughing. I clapped my hand over my mouth, my face turning as red as it will get, laughing so hard that I could not catch my breath.
My significant other says, “Did your class just hear you?” I could barely squeak out “yes.”
It took a solid five minutes to stop laughing just so I could hear him. He laughed with me and said, “Babe, you’re just going to have to own this one.” I said, “15 people just heard me talk about biting your honey buns, and it is being recorded. I don’t have any other choice BUT to own it.” We laughed more and then said our goodnights and I went back to class.
When I came back to class, one of my classmates kept covering her mouth to keep from laughing. I understood. I just did a major, naughty flirt, something that I keep so very private, in front of 15 people who are actively seeking a deeper understanding of God. The irony was palpable, and my discomfort was obvious. I was completely vulnerable.
Shortly after I returned, class had moved on as if nothing happened. We were divided into groups of three to discuss how we had all manifested things in our lives. I was grateful that I knew the two other students that I was placed with. As soon as my face appeared in the room, they both yelled my name and we all burst into laughter.
Then, the most amazing thing happened; my classmates embraced my loving moment with my guy, and they offered me grace. One said that the moment he heard me say what I said, his heart burst open! He said that he had a “Honey Buns” in his life, too, and it reminded him that he had some major flirting to catch up on. The other person in my group talked about how she had manifested a car recently and she was going to name it “Honey Buns” in honor of me.
They genuinely loved bearing witness to my love for my significant other and were making it a part of their lives. I was truly touched.
When we returned to the full group, class was over, so we said our goodbyes. I glanced at the chat box and I noticed that just after my declaration, someone had posted, “I picked the right class!” More reason to be grateful, as I was completely supported in my greatest vulnerability.
Afterwards, I called and texted a couple of friends to let them know what I had done. I needed to get it out of my system. I spent the rest of my evening rolling in laughter, as each person followed through with words of wisdom. My favorite, however, was from a fellow spiritual seeker and co-worker. His text said, “That is perfect! I truly believe sometimes we get sooooo serious about our spiritual practice and seeking and learning we can become little spiritualized puppets with a big ol stick up our a$$.” I knew exactly what he meant; I do that from time to time.
As I expressed my gratitude for the much-needed laughter in this time, I thought about this situation and went in search of what Buddha said about laughter. Interestingly, I found nothing about Siddhartha saying anything about laughter. However, I did find some writings about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Zen wisdom regarding laughter. The Dalai Lama believes that laughter is a form of mindful medicine and can be a path to enlightenment. Zen wisdom went much further into connecting enlightenment with laughter when they created a list of six types of laughter. For the record, I embodied three of these types last night, for quite some time, so I must be on my way.
This morning, my ego was bruised. I am deeply private about intimate moments. I felt vulnerable, afraid. If you have read any of my articles, you know that safety and trust are things that I am consistently working on. This morning, however, my instructor demonstrated that I was perfectly protected. She sent the link to our class (for those who missed class or need to go back and revisit a discussion) with a gentle reminder to not share it with others, as our class is a safe place.
Sure, someone may show it to their partner, but that is not my business. She took the extra step to make class a “safe place” for all of us. It is as if the universe said, “See. Even when you do something ridiculous, I’ve got your back. You are safe.”
I am pretty sure that I am on my way to six pack abs every time I think about this. The universe demonstrated that love is a cause for celebration and joy, that I am always safe, no matter what bus I throw myself under, and that nicknames can be the sweetest thing. I do not think, though, that I will ever be allowed to forget this event. And for all of this, and so much more, I am grateful.
Reverend-to-be Honey Buns.
P.S. I have enclosed two of the articles I found about laughter and Buddhism for your reading pleasures.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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